Complete guide to NBA Christmas Day 2023: Schedule, stats, records, matchups to watch and more

NBA games on Christmas Day are an age-old tradition that contributes to the holiday season being the most wonderful time of the year. For the 16th straight year, a five-game slate will be headlined by some of the league’s brightest stars.

The action begins at noon ET and will be nonstop through the midnight hour on the East Coast. The schedule features each of the last four NBA champions and six players who have won a combined 12 league MVP awards.

From a marquee matchup featuring the last two NBA champs to one of the league’s most historic rivalries taking center stage in Los Angeles, this year’s Christmas Day schedule has it all.

Ahead of this year’s Christmas Day slate, here is everything you need to know, including the schedule, how to watch, key injuries and a few storylines to keep an eye on.

MORE: Here are the 10 players most worthy of a start in the 2023 All-Star Game

NBA Christmas Day 2023 schedule

Game Time (ET) Location TV channel
Bucks vs. Knicks 12 p.m. Madison Square Garden ESPN
Warriors vs. Nuggets 2:30 p.m. Ball Arena ABC, ESPN
Celtics vs. Lakers 5 p.m. Arena ABC, ESPN
76ers vs. Heat 8 p.m. Kaseya Center ESPN
Mavericks vs. Suns 10:30 p.m. Footprint Center ESPN

How to watch NBA Christmas Day 2023 games

In the United States, each of the five NBA Christmas Day games in 2023 will be broadcast on ESPN, with Warriors vs. Nuggets and Celtics vs. Lakers also airing on ABC. 

Viewers can stream each game on Sling TV.

Fans in the U.S. can watch the biggest games of the 2023-24 NBA season on Sling TV, which is now offering HALF OFF your first month! Sling base packages (Sling Orange or Sling Blue) start at just $20 for your first month, or you can get Sling Orange + Blue starting at $27.50 for your first month. There are no long-term contracts, and you can change your channel lineup anytime. DVR is included along with thousands of on-demand shows and movies.

MORE: How to vote for 2024 NBA All-Star starters

NBA Christmas Day 2023 games

Bucks vs. Knicks, 12 p.m. ET

  Bucks on Christmas Knicks on Christmas
Record 5-4 23-32
Most recent game 2022 (Celtics 139, Bucks 118) 2022 (76ers 119, Knicks 112)
Single-game scoring high 38 points — Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, 1971 (OT) 60 points — Bernard King, 1984

Warriors vs. Nuggets, 2:30 p.m. ET

  Warriors on Christmas Nuggets on Christmas
Record 15-17 2-6
Most recent game 2022 (Warriors 123, Grizzlies 109) 2022 (Nuggets 128, Suns 125)
Single-game scoring high 59 points — Wilt Chamberlain, 1961 (2OT) 41 points — Nikola Jokic, 2022

Celtics vs. Lakers, 5 p.m. ET

  Celtics on Christmas Lakers on Christmas
Record 16-20 24-25
Most recent game 2022 (Celtics 139, Bucks 118) 2022 (Mavericks 124, Lakers 115)
Single-game scoring high 45 points — Tom Heinsohn, 1961 47 points — Jerry West, 1963

76ers vs. Heat, 8 p.m ET

  76ers on Christmas Heat on Christmas
Record 19-14 11-2
Most recent game 2022 (76ers 119, Knicks 112) 2020 (Heat 111, Pelicans 98)
Single-game scoring high 41 points — Billy Cunningham, 1969 40 points — Dwyane Wade, 2006

Mavericks vs. Suns, 10:30 p.m. ET

  Mavericks on Christmas Suns on Christmas
Record 3-3 12-8
Most recent game 2022 (Mavericks 124, Lakers 115) 2022 (Nuggets 128, Suns 125)
Single-game scoring high 32 points — Luka Doncic, 2022 38 points — Charles Barkley, 1993

NBA Christmas Day 2023 storylines

Bucks vs. Knicks

Thanks to an added meeting in the In-Season Tournament Quarterfinals, this is the fourth of five matchups between Milwaukee and New York this season. The two teams squared off in a matinee two days prior on Dec. 23 before meeting on Christmas.

In each of the first two games, the Knicks had 40-point scorers, with Jalen Brunson scoring 45 points in the first meeting and Julius Randle putting up 41 the second time around. Will there be a different 40-point scorer on Christmas Day?

Warriors vs. Nuggets

The last two NBA champions are in action as the Nuggets uphold the tradition of the defending champs having a home game on Christmas. With Draymond Green serving a league-mandated suspension, the Warriors will have their hands full with the already impossible task of slowing Nikola Jokic down.

Stephen Curry missed last year’s Christmas Day game with an injury. He’ll look to match — or exceed — his 33-point effort on Christmas in 2021.

Celtics vs. Lakers

It’s one of the most iconic rivalries in the NBA on the Christmas stage. What more could you ask for?

Jayson Tatum and the Celtics swept the regular-season series last year, winning two games that were decided in overtime. LeBron James and company will look to exact revenge as LA meets Boston on Christmas for the first time since 2008.

76ers vs. Heat

Reigning MVP Joel Embiid has been on a tear this season but has yet to go against this Miami team. Former Sixer Jimmy Butler always seems to have something to prove against his old team and Erik Spoelstra, who enters the day with an 8-0 record on Christmas, will look to stay flawless on the holiday.

Mavericks vs. Suns

In a rematch of the 2022 Western Conference Semifinals, the individual rivalry between Luka Doncic and Devin Booker takes center stage.

Despite injuries to Dallas’ Kyrie Irving and Phoenix’s Bradley Beal, there is plenty of star power present among the two teams that look to seriously contend in the West this year. Not a bad way to close out the holiday slate, eh?

Notable players with injuries on NBA Christmas Day 2023

Team Player Status Reason
Bucks Jae Crowder Out Left adductor surgery
Knicks Mitchell Robinson Out Left ankle surgery
Warriors Draymond Green Out League suspension
Mavericks Kyrie Irving TBD Right heel contusion
Suns Bradley Beal Out Right ankle sprain

NBA Christmas Day records

  Single game All-time
Points 60 – Bernard King, 1984 460 – LeBron James (17 games)
Rebounds 36 – Wilt Chamberlain, 1961 176 – Bill Russell (8 games)
Assists 18 – Guy Rodgers, 1966; Nate Archibald, 1972 144 – Oscar Robertson (12 games)
Steals 7 – Kyrie Irving, 2016 29 – Russell Westbrook (12 games)
Blocks 8 – DeAndre Jordan, 2011 25 – Shaquille O’Neal (13 games)
3-pointers 8 – Patty Mills, 2021 31 – James Harden (10 games)
Free Throws 22 – Bernard King, 1984 125 – Oscar Robertson (12 games)

NBA Christmas Day 2023 milestone watch

  • The Knicks are the all-time leader in games played on Christmas Day. This year marks New York’s 56th game on the holiday.
  • 2023 marks the 50th time that the Lakers will play on Christmas Day. They have the most all-time victories with 24.
  • LeBron James is the co-leader in Christmas Day victories (10). A win would break a tie with Dwyane Wade.
  • Joel Embiid’s 31.3 points per game average on Christmas Day is the highest mark among active players who have played two or more games on Christmas.
  • Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra is 8-0 on Christmas Day, the most victories without a loss on Christmas for an NBA head coach.

NBA Christmas Day 2022 results

Result Location High scorer
76ers 119, Knicks 112 Madison Square Garden J. Randle & J. Embiid (35 PTS)
Mavericks 124, Lakers 115 American Airlines Center L. James (38 PTS)
Celtics 139, Bucks 118 TD Garden J. Tatum (41 PTS)
Warriors 123, Grizzlies 109 Chase Center J. Morant (36 PTS)
Nuggets 128, Suns 125 (OT) Ball Arena N. Jokic (41 PTS)


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